The Halifax regional councillor for the Cole Harbour area wants to pay tribute to Const. Heidi Stevenson by naming something in the community after the slain RCMP officer who called it home.
“She was a hero in life, just from all the things she did for the community,” Cole Harbour-Westphal Coun. Lorelei Nicoll said in an interview Friday.
“I’ll miss her little emojis and things like that. I’ll miss her, period.”
Stevenson was killed in last month’s mass shooting, shot by GW after her cruiser collided head-on with his mock RCMP vehicle near Shubenacadie, N.S. The 23-year veteran of the force left behind two children, Connor and Ava, and her husband, Dean.
“Your stories and memories have been a source of comfort for us, and we truly appreciate all of the tributes to Heidi that we have seen taking place through music, writing and kind gestures in communities across the country,” they wrote in a statement released by the RCMP this week.
Nicoll is hoping to add another tribute, but wants to leave the details up to Stevenson’s family.
The councillor has a motion coming to Tuesday’s virtual meeting seeking a staff report on adding Stevenson’s name to the municipality’s commemorative names list “to honour her bravery and service to HRM, and to recommend naming or renaming a municipal asset in the Cole Harbour Area, where Constable Stevenson lived and worked for many years and where her husband and children reside.”
“Many residents are suggesting ways we could memorialize Constable Heidi Stevenson who lived in Cole Harbour and worked at the Cole Harbour RCMP Detachment for many years,” Nicoll wrote in the reasoning portion of the motion.
“A close friend of the family has willingly offered to help by receiving these suggestions which will be discussed with the Stevenson family at an appropriate time in the future.”
Nicoll knew Stevenson well, even before she became a councillor in 2012. They lived nearby and shared an interest in the Cole Harbour community.
“She’s very supportive, you know, women in non-traditional roles,” Nicoll said.
“We worked on a lot of projects together and I knew I could always count on her or call on her and she could do the same to me.”
Stevenson, who worked as a school liaison officer at Cole Harbour District High, was dedicated to helping the kids in the community, Nicoll said.
Nicoll spoke to Stevenson just a few days before her death, when the officer called to express her frustration about the Cole Harbour trails network being closed due to COVID-19.
“She went on further to say that ‘They’re critical to a person’s mental health, especially in my job,’” Nicoll said.
Along with the trails, Nicoll said Stevenson and her family frequented municipal facilities in the area, like Cole Harbour Place.
But Nicoll doesn’t want to decide what should be named after Stevenson. She’s appointed a family friend to help them decide.
“When the time is right, that friend will discuss this with the family to see if and where and what they might want,” she said.
“Whenever they are ready, her name will be on a list and that will be one less hurdle they’ll have to deal with.”